Seems like MMO sites are abuzz with Darkfall hype recently, especially since the NDA drop, which has me a bit flabbergasted because I still don’t see what the game has done to prove it is deserving of so much attention.
I’ll get my negative stuff out of the way first. The website looks like it was made with Flash for Dummies, circa 2000. It could possibly have the worst (zero) marketing here in North America. I honestly don’t think anyone who doesn’t follow MMO-news would even know it exists. You have to fervently scour and search through the forums for cryptic details on whether they are even looking into a North American launch. Took me like 20 minutes just to find out they don’t have a pre-order link up yet (days from release). I can’t speak for Europe, where it’s launching first and Aventurine is based out of, but I’m hoping they’re doing a better job marketing it there. Being a hardcore pvp game, it’s going to attract the most foul, immature, and disgraceful players an MMO community can have. I’ve witnessed this first-hand in my time in Age of Conan so far. Open pvp can cause a lack players communicating and trusting each other, leading to a sense of loneliness and disconnect from a community as a whole. To go off-topic a bit, but stress the importance of a solid community in an MMORPG, as of last night, I’ve reached level 20 in Age of Conan, still on trial, and the only thing that is keeping me from dropping the $20 to just buy it, is the rotten community and sense that no on really gives a crap about anyone else.
Pessimism and negativity aside, I’m still excited to get my hands on Darkfall after all these years of reading about it and wanting to get a taste of what all the pre-trammel UO hype was all about, having missed the UO-train back in the day. I love sandbox games, I love pvp, and I love MMORPGs. Trends would tell me I would like this game, barring it has some sense of community besides the niche “hardcore” pvpers.
I’m checking the forums every day to check for the pre-order link. I’m going to attempt to join in on the European launch while they work out the details on an North America launch and find a publisher. It’s great to hear that they will be allowing EU-NA server transfers, once the game has launched in the US as well.
Despite my willingness to take a risk on pre-ordering Darkfall, I’m still going with my prediction that it will either not launch in North America or it will have Hellgate London type realization that you need to continue to pay for development, even after launch, and will be forced to cut back or be canned. It has two big red flags of MMORPG failure tagging a long with it into it’s launch: It’s a “no rules / hardcore” PVP game which is niche in itself, and it has the stigma of vaporware and negativity that has been swirling around its development and delays for years. It will be interesting to follow the next couple months, that’s for sure.